Abusive Relationships Are Real Things, But They Always Look Normal When You're In One

Abusive Relationships Are Real Things, But They Always Look Normal When You're In One

Sometimes your biggest pain can be disguised behind the loveliest bouquets


As a college student, I have a million things on my mind. Homework? Studying? Fitting in time to go to the gym? Social life? What am I going to do with my life? And lastly, at the back of every girls' mind (whether she likes it or not), when will I find "The One"? This is a pressure that is unnecessarily felt by thousands of girls (and guys!), and certainly doesn't help with all of the other things we have to think about that are… a bit more important right now!

Once you begin to tackle the process of finding a significant other, you face many obstacles, and not every situation may work out in your favor. Sure, there may be times when you get stood-up, shed a couple tears, and spend a little too much time overthinking a witty, yet breezy, yet flirty text to send to your crush in your Business class; but one thing that should never be a part of this process is emotional or physical abuse.

Many people may shrug off the legitimacy of emotional abuse because there are no bruises, no cuts to see. I am here to tell all of you, emotional abuse is a very REAL and very COMMON thing. Being taken advantage of, bullied, taunted, or scared of your significant other is not something that should be seen as normal. Ever. But for many people, the sad reality is that they begin to believe that this is what love is. I am here to tell you, it is not.

You quickly start to realize, after leaving a toxic relationship, just how abnormal things really were. Anxiety which was brought upon me in a past relationship was something I saw as normal: Who DOESN'T have to compulsively check their Snapchat and Messages to see who their other half is with, what they are doing, if they are ignoring you… right? Wrong.

After recently going through a major self-improvement bout, I have begun to realize what a healthy relationship looks like. A healthy relationship doesn't necessarily look like flowers, expensive jewelry, fancy dates, and Instagram-worthy posts of you and your beau. A healthy relationship is a shoulder to cry on when you are hopeless, a hand to hold while sitting in church on a Sunday morning, getting a funny Twitter post from him/her just because "it made them think of you", and a vanilla milkshake when you have a fever. It isn't always the "cute" moments that make a relationship special, it's the messy moments.

The person who you know you can count on to lift you up, not helplessly pull you down. The person who will stay up into the wee hours of the morning to help you with a critical essay you have been stressing over, or flash cards for a big test. That is the person you want to hold close.

It is hard to believe that just 10 months ago, I thought a person like this didn't exist. I thought that love meant pain, meant sadness, meant loneliness, most of all, I thought love would always be something unrequited. Today, I am proven wrong. Not only by my considerate and funny boyfriend but by my incredible, uplifting, kind friends and family.

I write to you as someone who has found her way back on track. Love (rather, what you think love is) can cause you to wear INTENSELY rose-colored glasses, which is painful but true. For those of you trapped in an unhealthy relationship, there will be brighter days ahead.

All it takes is one helping hand to lead you towards true happiness, one person to change your whole perspective of love. Sure, a bouquet of sunflowers is always my favorite surprise, but I will never again let it shield me from the pain behind those sunny colored petals. Because now, I finally know how it feels to be loved.

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21 Reasons You Should Date Someone Who Was A Camp Counselor

Spouse and parent material, all wrapped up in an animal shirt, Nike shorts, and Chacos.

1. They shop at Goodwill mostly... low maintenance you could say?

SEE ALSO: The ABC's Of Summer Camp

2. They are pretty awesome at talking to parents... opening days have given good practice for them. Give them 15 minutes and they will become best friends with your parents.

3. Their best friends actually are long distance...so you can wait a while to meet their besties who will want to know everything about you and make sure your intentions are good.

4. They have learned how to look decently presentable without showering for a week... maybe two...you may or may not like this one.

5. They are always down for adventure... sure let's hike for eight miles uphill in the middle of the week!

6. They know what it is like to be woken up at 2 a.m. because someone wet their bed... mom training.

7. They also know how to give the "modest is hottest" talk to the teenage campers... and will help give you a classy future daughter.

8. Building fires is their hidden talent... if you ever get stuck on a deserted island with them they can help you.

9. Animal shirts are a common clothing item... they know how to have fun.

10. They throw killer dance parties... ones your grandma would approve of.

11. They are used to being publicly embarrassed for others (their campers') enjoyment... and usually can take a joke or prank well.

12. They also know how to prank you back... summer camp prepares you for awesome prank wars.

13. If you want to see her with no makeup on just look at her camp photos... natural beauty?

14. They actually love children... they chose to spend a whole summer loving other people's kids; imagine how awesome they will treat their own.

15. Chances are they are a really fun person and will bring out your inner child... yes, climb that random tree and paint your face because it is Wednesday.

16. Their "real job" will come later in life... they will end up being successful. Most employers love to hire former counselors, so it is not a waste of a summer.

17. They know how to hide their favorites in life really well... so if they choose to date you they are basically saying you are their favorite and that is a big deal to them.

18. They have learned how to eat unhealthy food every day for a whole summer and stay in shape... or try to at least.

19. They also are obviously not a diva when it comes to material needs...they went a whole summer without even air conditioning and never complained.

20. If they love you anything like they love their campers your needs will always be put first...they are some of the most selfless people you will ever meet.

21. They love God, living for Him, and have already made a difference in many children's lives... they are the real MVPS.

If you are still looking for a place to work this summer and love adventure, Jesus, and children, apply for Camp Crestridge for Girls; they still have many positions available. I'll be there so you should too!

If you are a boy apply for Camp Ridgecrest for Boys!

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You've Heard Of 'How To Be Single,' But Let's Talk About 'How To Be Romantic'

For some of us, it takes work to be cutesy and romantic.


Okay, I'm probably the least romantic person anyone has ever met. Not to say that I'm a bad girlfriend or that I'm not caring. I just find love in simple things like knowing what to order for them at restaurants, doing their laundry, planning unique dates, or cooking for them. It's not that I'm opposed to being arduous, I've just never been a chocolate and flowers kind of girl. I'm more of a Mongolian hot pot and "let's walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!" kind of girl. I appreciate some effort, tailoring something to fit a person's idiosyncratic personality or general spontaneity, not how flowery something looks. Not saying that I'm not feminine, I'm just my own entity, so to speak, and that translates into my love life. Needless to say, I thought I should learn how the other half lives, so I've challenged myself to take a course on being a classic/hopeless romantic just to understand how others think and who knows I might change some of my habits!

1. Leave notes

I think it's a really cute and simple idea that I will try to do because it makes everything very personal.

2. Write them a poem

I've had this done for me but I've never actually done it, because believe it or not, I didn't like to read or write poems up until this year.

3. Cuddling

Okay, so I'm not a cuddler, I have no idea why — it's more or less a personal space and attachment issue, I guess. I love hugs though! I guess I just have to be in the mood to cuddle and at times I can be. Other times it just makes me nervous.

4. Dedicate a song to them on the radio

It seems like the people on the radio that do this are crazy in love and honestly, to be able to have the ability to go on the radio and just declare your love for someone else is really inspiring.

5. Surprise them!

I personally cannot stand surprises, but I love to surprise other people and just be spontaneous, so I sort of do this already.

6. Carve your names into a tree

I've thought about doing this, but I've never got around to it, so I promise one day I will.

7. Go see a romantic movie

Nope, nope, I'll barf! Not happening, strictly horror movies for this girl, sorry!

8. Make them a care package

See, this makes me think a lot about what really defines romantic, because I do this all the time, but I don't consider it romantic, I just think it's sweet.

9. Take a walk on the beach together

I've done this, but I have to be doing this while looking for seashells or I feel like I'll be bored.

10. Make a CD for them


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